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Christ Crucified in a Suffering World

The Unity of Atonement and Libreation

By Nathan D. Hieb

Publication Year: 2013

What is the connection between Christian doctrine and concrete social action? This question marks the often unarticulated divide between systematic theology and liberation theology, each often emphasizing one primarily or formally over the other. Examining the work of Karl Barth, T. F. Torrance, and Jon Sobrino, here Nathan Hieb contests this bifurcation, specifically around the nodal points of the crucifixion, or the doctrine of atonement, and the context of suffering. This book is an innovative study that bridges the boundaries of method, doctrine, and praxis, creating a strong theological and action-oriented relationship between systematic and liberation theology.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Series: Emerging Scholars

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

A life of gratitude recognizes the grace given by others for the journey. Here I would like to acknowledge a number of people whose insights and support carried me through every turn. My dissertation committee at Princeton Theological Seminary contributed a diversity of perspectives that strengthened my writing immensely. Professor Darrell Guder’s detailed attention to my...


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pp. ix-x

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pp. 1-24

Ton Snellaert and I slowly weaved our way through the crowded avenues of Delhi, India, in an old ambulance. Three men, each in an advanced stage of terminal illness, lay next to us. The reek of their unwashed rags filled the air, a constant reminder that they had been left on the street to die. Ten years previously, Ton and I had arrived in Delhi to organize a new humanitarian...

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1. G. W. F. Hegel and the Analysis of Theological Models

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pp. 25-60

I recently returned to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on New York’s Upper West Side. An unfinished monument, it remains continually in a process of becoming, an organism of stone slowly growing and emerging like the lives of those who seek solace in its depths. These searching souls find in their silent companion an instructive friend, for the cathedral unveils the substance...

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2. Unity of Atonement and Liberation in Barth’s CD II/1: “The Mercy and Righteousness of God”

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pp. 61-96

The day I revisited the Sewa Ashram in Delhi, the ministry I had helped Ton Snellaert initiate a decade earlier, a young mother and her two small children also arrived. With her husband languishing in an Indian prison, her family’s vulnerability and desperation had grown. Lacking food, shelter, and medical care, illness soon threatened their lives. Her malnourished, two-year-old son...

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3. Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Atonement

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pp. 97-140

At a small Hindu monastery near Princeton, New Jersey, my wife and I recently spent an hour conversing with a monk who had written commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita and extolled the Upanishads as the highest form of Hindu wisdom. Pointing us toward the unity behind the multiplicity of Hindu deities, he encouraged us to see all religious paths as parallel ascents to higher spiritual...

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4. The Church’s Prophetic Vocation in the World

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pp. 141-196

During college, several friends and I began to minister in an impoverished, inner-city neighborhood of Minneapolis. The area attracted many who had nowhere else to go, forming a complex community of recent Somali and Southeast Asian immigrants, street kids, gutter punks, artists, left-wing political radicals, transplanted students, homeless veterans, and mentally ill residents. Unfortunately, the...

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5. The Affliction and Liberation of the Christian

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pp. 197-236

A small number of Christian co-workers and seminarians recently attended a lecture series that I gave in a restricted country. Their underground church endures tremendous pressure, constant vulnerability, and questionable status. Nevertheless, some attribute the falling crime rate in their city to its growth and rising influence. Even local government officials acknowledge this contribution...

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Conclusion: The Unity of Atonement and Liberation

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pp. 237-244

I have argued that Karl Barth’s theology of the cross bridges the divide between atonement theologies that emphasize Christ’s saving work and liberation theologies that stress the emancipatory significance of his death. On the cross, Jesus reconciles humanity with God and confronts the sinful root of all unjust affliction. Through his death, we find fellowship with God and the foundation...


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pp. 245-252

Index of Authors

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pp. 253-254

Index of Subjects

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pp. 255-257

Back Cover

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p. 269-269

E-ISBN-13: 9781451469820
E-ISBN-10: 1451469829
Print-ISBN-13: 9781451465716
Print-ISBN-10: 1451465718

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Emerging Scholars